Ahead of Diwali tomorrow, the air quality in Delhi entered the “very poor” category for the first time this season.
The overall air quality index (AQI) of the city was 303 on Tuesday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
Faridabad (306), Ghaziabad (334) and Noida (303), and the areas around the national capital also recorded very poor air quality. Before this, the highest AQI of the season recorded in Delhi was 298 in the “poor” category on October 17.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.Central Pollution Control Board.
Air quality forecast agency SAFAR said ‘stubble burning‘ by farmers in the rural belt around Delhi and Punjab, accounted for 6 per cent of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Tuesday. The rest of the pollution was due to local sources, PTI reported.
The matter would have been exacerbated with the bursting of firecrackers during Diwali, however a ban on firecrackers is in place, which may provide some respite for the city’s inhabitants, if strictly enforced.
While the contribution of farm fires in Delhi’s air pollution has remained low this season so far due to heavy rainfall in October, the scenario is likely to change post Diwali.
SAFAR has predicted that Delhi’s air quality may slip to the “severe” category on Diwali night and the share of stubble burning in its PM2.5 pollution may go up to 40 per cent the day after, PTI reported.
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